Saffron might not be as popular as some of the other metabolism-boosting spices you should have in your kitchen, but the memory-boosting, cold-fighting spice definitely deserves a place on the rack.
Remedy that by substituting saffron for turmeric in your nightly cup of golden milk, or indulging in this tasty, protein-packed chowder that's a certified Winter warmer.
- 2 tomatoes
- 300 ml white wine
- 1 kg mixed shellfish, cockles, clams, mussels, winkles, soaked in cold water
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
- ½ leek, white part only, finely chopped
- 250 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm pieces
- 2 pinches of saffron strands
- 1 star anise
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 175 ml double cream
- 75 g samphire, trimmed
- 12 shelled cooked whelks
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- handful of celery leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Start off by skinning and and seeding your tomatoes, and finely chopping the flesh.
- Heat a sauté pan until hot, add the wine and the shellfish, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until just cooked through. Strain into a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquor, and allow to cool slightly before picking the meat out of the shells.
- Wipe the sauté pan out and add the butter, shallot and garlic and sweat for a few minutes, before adding the fennel, leek, potatoes, saffron, and star anise. Cook this for about a minute.
- Add the reserved cooking liquor and chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the potatoes are just tender.
- Add the cream and samphire then simmer for another couple of minutes until the texture thickens a little. Reduce the heat then add the tomatoes and all the shellfish, including the whelks, and gently warm through. Add the chives and celery leaves and season to taste.
- Taste before adding any additional seasoning as you probably wont need much salt, serve straight away and enjoy.
- Main Dishes, Shellfish